Winnipeg-based Wellington-Altus Private Wealth Inc. had another growth spurt this week — and this was its biggest yet.
On Tuesday, the independent advisory firm announced that it had welcomed Calgary-based Cresco Wealth Management to its team. Cresco, previously part of Scotia Wealth Management, brings a team of 16 and $800 million in assets under administration (AUA) to Wellington-Altus.
“It’s the largest book we’ve attracted to our organization in its existence,” said Shaun Hauser, president and founder of Wellington-Altus.
And Hauser plans to keep the momentum going.
When Wellington-Altus launched in April 2017, the goal was to reach $10 billion in AUA within three years, Hauser said. The firm now sits just short of that, at $8.5 billion, and Hauser — who expects to announce more additions to the Wellington-Altus team in the new year — said reaching $10 billion by April is well within reach.
“So far, Q1 and Q2 of 2020 are lining up to be even better than our Q4 of 2019, which has been the best [quarter] yet,” he said.
But growing AUA at the expense of company culture isn’t a trade-off Hauser is willing to make.
“We’ve probably said no to as many people as we’ve said yes to, just because in our mind, having great people in combination with great businesses gives you something wonderful from a cultural perspective,” he said. “Our mandate is to be in business and earn money, but our guiding principle is having great people to do that with.”
Hauser describes the team at Cresco as “fantastic people and human beings.”
“Outside of having an accretive effect on our business, the first time we met those guys, we thought, ‘Wow,’” he said. “From a culture perspective, these guys fit and that attracted us more than the [book of] business.”
Beyond reaching $10 billion in AUA by April, Hauser said he sees a “very clear path” to reaching $20 billion in the next few years, “based on the pedigree of the advisors that we’re speaking with.”
“When you bring over books of $600 million and $800 million, you don’t need many of them to get to that next flag,” Hauser said. “We’re having a lot of good fortune, and we’ll continue to work hard to make sure things keep going the way they are.”